It’s the age-old problem – Sales and Marketing; two essential departments which should effectively be working together, are failing to collaborate, resulting in an unfocused marketing strategy and lost leads.
Countless times we have heard of these two teams butting heads and questioning the other’s skills and dedication. Sales folk complain over the quality of leads sent to them by marketing, while marketers are frustrated about their content being under-utilised. These qualms result in crossed wires, frustration and, in turn, lost opportunities.
While each division have their own scopes and functions, they both share the same objectives of keeping customers satisfied while growing business revenue.
Assosia, which specialises in consumer research and quality assurance, outlines how organisations can bridge the gap between sales and marketing teams, in order to create a seamless, co-operative working relationship in which common business goals are met.
Speak the same language
It’s highly likely that one of the reasons for discord between the two departments is conflict over the quality of leads. As such, it’s important that everybody is on the same wavelength in terms of what constitutes a ‘lead’ and a ‘qualified lead’.
If there are discrepancies between teams regarding this, salespeople will only end up pursuing customers who aren’t actually set on buying anything, which means efforts are simply being wasted.
To overcome this barrier, it’s wise to ensure your core team initially brainstorms, to come up with a universal definition which means that, going forward, all involved are on the same page.
One of the most common complaints that sales has with marketing is that the content they produce is too generic and sends ineffectual leads their way. To help overcome this obstacle, you can improve your content strategy by creating segments for targeting, and then tailoring content to particular groups of people.
Your CRM system will be able to help with this, allowing straightforward segmentation of existing and prospective customers, based on a large variety of elements, such as age, gender, location, preference, which stage they are in the buying cycle, your relationship and more.
When segmenting, it is essential to have a strong communication system in place between sales and marketing, to avoid lost information between parties which can aid segmentation. If sales are asking all the right questions when conversing with prospective buyers, they need to start sharing these details with marketing, so that content can be personalised to create highly targeted campaigns that are bespoke, relevant and able to have the most significant impact.
Invest in a sales enablement tool
Sales enablement platforms allow businesses to measure customer engagement at every touchpoint in the sales process. This in turn leads to better content strategies, since sales and marketing teams can use real-time analytics data to see what is and isn’t effective, then work together to improve on these.
Walk in each other’s shoes
Closing the gap between these two departments is much easier when they work in alignment, instead of as two wildly different roles. As such, the salespeople should be encouraged to really get to grips with the products/services and the brand, thus more effectively driving opportunities through a deeper knowledge of these things.
Likewise, marketers should not only be well versed on the products/services, but should also be encouraged to become buyer experts – only then can they deliver truly valuable content throughout the sales pipeline.
As both divisions continue to work together towards shared goals, a positive and co-operative working environment will develop, in which knowledge sharing is key. The end result of such culture is greater customer satisfaction, better marketing efforts and an increase in sales.